Nov 05

In less than 60 days new accounting rules will impact operations, and organizations whose finance and operations personnel are on the same page will benefit the most.  Selecting the right financing is just as important as choosing the right equipment.  No matter the fleet size, these changes will compel an even greater collaboration between those who cut the checks and those who rely on forklifts every day.  

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has approved changes to Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) 842, which affects operating leases.  On January 1, 2019, the Finance Accounting Standards Board's FASB13 will take effect.  FASB13 calls for every lease to be classified as either an operating lease or capital lease based on specific criteria. 

Currently, capital leases are reported on the balance sheet as an asset and liability.  Operating leases, however, are supposed to be footnoted on the balance sheet but are expensed on the income statement.  The new guidance generally stipulates that lessees will be required to recognize both Capital and Operating leases as assets and liabilities for leases with term of more than 12 months.  Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, all leases (capital and operating) will be required to be accounted for on the balance sheet as right-of-use (ROU) asset and lease liability on their balance sheet. * 

“This will have a couple of significant impacts to companies. First, having all leases on the balance sheet will give creditors greater visibility to total liabilities. Secondly, many companies did not require capital approval of off-balance-sheet acquisitions such as rentals and operating leases, which made it quicker and easier to obtain equipment.  The increased scrutiny associated with on-balance-sheet capital approvals may slow or restrict some companies’ equipment acquisition process, which makes it more important than ever for finance and operations to partner up,” Sue Rice says.  

Leasing is an increasingly popular means of controlling expenses and guaranteeing access to the latest technology.  The best way to keep finance and operations departments aligned is to use a data-driven approach to fleet management.  Data is becoming increasingly important in the material handling industry, which is why telematics systems are growing in popularity.  Toyota T-Matics MOBILE and T-Matics COMMAND deliver important insights about your forklift and operators.  T-Matics offers a solution that gives greater visibility to your fleet's performance.  Some of the features include fleet utilization/optimization, web-based dashboards & reporting, electronic hour meter collection, fully mobile, impact detection, etc.  Bottom line...What gets measured, gets managed.  

Still have questions?  Dillon Toyota Lift is here to help.  We can help determine what equipment and finance options are best for you in the long-term.  

*We encourage customers discuss these changes with their Accountants, Auditors and Creditors to better understand the effects these revisions may have on their business.

Nov 02

Your business is growing and you either need to expand your current warehouse or build a new warehouse to support your growth. Sounds like a good problem to have! At least, until you have to decide what type of pallet racking system you need to install. In its simplest form, a pallet racking system is a material storage system. Pallet racking helps you stay organized within your warehouse and better manage you inventory. Choosing pallet racking, however, is not as simple as selecting a pallet rack brand and installing it. There several racking types that help you meet your needs. The type of racking you choose depends on a few criteria:

  • How tall the racking needs to be
  • What goods will be stored
  • What the floor plan will be
  • What type of inventory management system makes sense for your product and operation
  • What types of forklifts you currently use or forklifts you intend to switch to

Types of Pallet Racking: Selective Racking

Selective racking systems are some of the most common and widely used racking systems, mainly because they are less expensive and easier to install than other, more specialized racking systems. Selective racking is great for warehouses that store a large amount of stock keeping units (SKUs). Selective pallet racking is usually a single-deep pallet rack. This type of racking makes any given pallet in the rack system accessible without having to move another pallet.

Types of Pallet Racking: Cantilever Racking

Cantilever Racking systems are used to store items that cannot be easily stored on pallets. Warehouses that use cantilever rack, usually store longer and heavier items to be stored horizontally across multiple arms (like lumber or steel pipes). Pallet racks, on the other hand, have vertical uprights that limit the length of stored items. This is the primary difference between cantilever racking and pallet racking.

Types of Pallet Racking: Pallet Flow Racking

Pallet flow racking systems are also referred to as “gravity flow” racking systems. Pallet flow racking systems are best suited for the first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory management methodology. When you load a pallet from the loading aisle and onto the lane rollers, gravity allows the pallet to roll to the front of the system. When the pallet is removed from the front of the racking system, the pallets behind roll to the front of the lane. Pallet flow racking allows for high-density storage while maintaining FIFO. Some pallet flow racking systems may hold up to 20 pallets deep in one lane, minimizing the number of aisles needed to store items while maintaining efficient inventory turnover.

Types of Pallet Racking: Push Back Racking

Push back racking systems is another high density storage option, with the ability to store up to six pallets deep on either side of an aisle. There are usually three carts stacked on top of each other.  The first pallet is loaded from the front in a push back racking system and sits on the top cart. When the second pallet is loaded, it pushes the top cart with the first pallet back. Push back racking gives you higher density storage than selective racking systems, while allowing you more selectivity with storing items than other types of racking, meaning you can store more SKUs.

Types of Pallet Racking: Drive-In Racking

Drive-In racking systems are great for storing large volumes of just a few SKUs and can also be configured to manage inventory with FIFO or last-in, first-out (LIFO). With drive-in racking, the forklift literally drives into the racking system to move a pallet. This type of pallet racking system is cost effective by maximizing the amount of storage space in your warehouse.

Choosing between these types of racking systems will depend on the various goals of your operation and the relevant inventory data like volume and throughput. No matter your decision, always be sure that this racking is installed safely and effectively to increase productivity.

Warehouse Racking Solutions

Written By:  Kenny Trusnik, Marketing Systems & eCommerce Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA


Oct 30

If you’ve heard an anecdote beginning with, “Well, so-and-so said. . .” you are likely not alone. Part of our human nature means relying on our gut instincts and, while trusting your gut is something to be proud of, doing so isn’t always appropriate. Ensuring operational efficiency and the long-term value and ROI of capital equipment such as forklifts means having a good handle on how that equipment is being used within your operation. You may have a strong hunch about how equipment is being operated, but backing up that intuition with solid data is always the way to go! A vehicle management system (VMS) is a way to make sure you’re getting the right data to help you take firm, decisive action.

Trust me, I know how overwhelming data management can seem. And the data you’ll receive from a VMS like Toyota’s T-Matics Command or T-Matics Mobile can be overwhelming – unless you establish a few clear goals right from the beginning.

I’ve found that setting up a few key goals is a great place to get started with T-Matics or any VMS. For forklift operators and managers, vehicle uptime is often the “true north” that ensures a high efficiency and ROI. Adding T-Matics to the forklifts in your fleet can help your Toyota technicians have a clearer understanding of your needs and to ensure that you have maximum uptime in your organization.

Fault Code Notifications

Fault code notifications managed via T-Matics Mobile give instant insight into forklift malfunctions to help you understand the cause behind your forklift’s breakdown. When sensors are able to discover potential problems before the affected forklift is inspected by your technicians, they’ll be better prepared by having the correct parts in hand right when they arrive, increasing their efficiency. First-time fix rate is also increased as diagnostics are constantly running in order to provide technicians the insight they need to be successful.

Planned Maintenance Intervals

The problem with calendar-based planned maintenance is its failure to show the actual needs of a forklift because it relies on ambiguous and historical understanding of usage and need. With a VMS like T-Matics, planned maintenance can be scheduled based on activity rather than on a predetermined calendar date, meaning you’ll get maintenance right when you need it.

Utilization Monitoring

When you capture data effectively, you can turn it around into information that can be handed over, clearly and accurately, to your technician. By painting a detailed picture of your forklift utilization to your technician, they will be better at anticipating any upcoming compilations and at using this information to perform accurate diagnostics on current and potential breakdowns. The more your technician knows about a forklift’s utilization, the better equipped they are to deliver the best services.

Peak Usage Monitoring

T-Matics data offers insights into when your forklifts are being used most often. Use this knowledge for improving operational efficiencies, especially since it will allow you to distinguish between login and motion hours. These insights can also give you and your technician a good understanding of when they should be working on your forklift so they don’t interrupt your operation. Planned maintenance and fixes of problems not leading to breakdown can be performed during slower periods of your operation.

Written by:  Linley Kullman, Telematics Support Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Oct 10

Toyota’s full line of equipment ranges from the small but sturdy hand pallet truck to the colossal beasts that make up our line of container handlers. Oftentimes, load capacity and application needs will determine the best type of material handling equipment you’ll need. But sometimes the decision may be a bit more subtle.

A Toyota Hand Pallet Truck (HPT) may be exactly what you need to get the job done for smaller applications – but a Toyota Electric Walkie Pallet Jack might work just as well. The load capacities between these two products aren’t much different. The HPT’s capacity weighs in at 5,500 pounds while the Electric Walkie maxes out at 4,500. How do you decide between the two?

Electric Pallet Jack vs. Manual Pallet Jack — Using a Toyota Hand Pallet Truck

While the HPT can lift a higher capacity than the Electric Walkie, heavier loads mean more exertion from the operator, making it better suited for shorter run times and quick material handling jobs. It’s an economical option whose size makes it highly versatile and ergonomic without any of the complexities of electrical wiring or battery maintenance. It’s a great fit for retail, cold storage, and general warehousing industries!

Electric Pallet Jack vs. Manual Pallet Jack — Using a Toyota Electric Walkie

The Electric Walkie takes the strain off the operator, making it ideal for mid-distance runs and ease of operation when working on trailers, dock plates, and ramps or slopes. An electric disc brake comes in handy when working on a grade where you may need to stop, and the anti-rollback system conveniently assists in keeping a load stationary during a transition from braking to moving. The HPT doesn’t have a similar system, meaning that the operator must maintain the stability of the load through physical exertion or sitting the load down. On a grade, the momentum can make this difficult.

A bit bigger than an HPT, this walkie is still a great fit for efficiently moving products through a warehouse and is designed with convenience in mind. Its drive motor makes it easier to navigate over dock plates and to both pull and raise loads, ideal for higher cycle applications.

Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference. If you’re not sure which product is the best match for your operation, feel free to Contact Dillon Toyota Lift for more information.

Written by:  Anastasia Sistevaris, Communications Copywriter, Toytoa Material Handling, USA

Sep 27

Winter is coming! And while you likely don’t have to worry much about an army of the undead descending upon you, you still have to prepare yourself (if you’re an operator), associates (if you’re a supervisor), facility, and forklifts for the harsh weather conditions ahead. Winterizing your fleet and facilities is no small task and it can have serious long-term impact if you don’t take the right forklift weather protection steps before snow piles up. So where to start? There are several areas of an operation to consider as the cold arrives.

Forklift Weather Protection in your Facility

This one’s pretty obvious, but if your operation involves working outside, then the wintery conditions are going to affect you significantly. Whether it’s freezing rain, snow, or anything in between, you need to have procedures in place for how and when it is appropriate to work in these types of environments. What types of hazards does this present for your application? Do you have ramps or pathways that could be particularly icy or dangerous to traverse? Is there danger of your product being damaged if exposed to these elements? What effect does the weather have on your visibility? Forklift weather protection is all about understanding the severity of the weather and its impact to your entire operation; that’s key to proper decision making. Make sure to never operate a forklift in any dangerous conditions and to only travel as fast as the conditions will allow.

Forklift Weather Protection for Employees

The safety of all associates is paramount. This starts with making sure operators and pedestrians are dressed appropriately for the weather by wearing extra layers and covering up their extremities as needed. If you’re an operator, make sure you take responsibility and let your supervisor know your needs. Gloves, coats, socks, boots, and ear muffs are but a few additional items to consider. When visibility is adversely affected by the weather, it’s also a good idea to wear high visibility clothing such as safety vests to help ensure high visibility. However, remember that safety is the most important thing here. Any additional clothing or gear operators wear should not impair their ability to perceive their environment (e.g. hearing or sight restrictions) or operating ability (e.g. limited mobility or ability to operate controls)

We talked about setting procedures for how to handle cold weather conditions, but it’s just as important to keep your employees informed of these procedures. Hosting daily meetings before each shift to evaluate current and expected weather conditions is a useful practice. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page prior to beginning their work day and allows you to develop a forklift weather protection action plan catered to the specific conditions for that day. It can also help you to reinforce good pre-operation checks. Having proper fluid levels, tire conditions, and other standards satisfied will help your operators stay safe during this time of year. If you’re an operator, this is definitely a process worth bringing up to your manager.

Forklift Weather Protection for your Forklifts

Does your forklift have an enclosed operator compartment and a heater/defroster? If you’re operating outdoors, and as long as the compartment doesn’t hinder perception of the working environment (fog glass, inability to hear, etc.), features like these can go a long way to keep operators warm, comfortable, and productive. It can also help make sure the operator controls and seats stay in top working condition. What about cold start aids such as engine block heaters and coolant preheaters? Are you using batteries that are designed to work or be charged in cold conditions? If you can’t even get your forklift started, you’re not going to get very much work done.

Even if your forklift is properly equipped, you still need to properly maintain it to keep it up and running throughout the winter. This starts with scheduling preventative maintenance with an authorized Toyota dealer prior to the start of cold weather and having regularly scheduled maintenance throughout the year. Proper battery care and maintenance is equally as important. Maintaining proper water levels and limiting exposure to cold weather as much as possible are two general rules of thumb for electric forklifts. Cold weather can greatly reduce battery life and battery run time so you should prepare for how this might affect your productivity ahead of time. Consider your battery charging options and number of batteries on-hand to help reduce potential downtime.

Written by:  Trinton Castetter, Product Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA​

Sep 25

Doing more with less has become more important than ever in the warehousing industry. While manufacturing and distribution centers are on the rise in the United States, companies are uncovering new challenges when it comes to their warehouse space. There is a need to fit increasing volumes of products into the same warehouse buildings. How are we supposed to do this? Packing all of your product into smaller spaces usually calls for Narrow Aisles (NA) or Very Narrow Aisles (VNA) solutions.

General Aisle Widths

A typical aisle measures 10 ½ feet or more. While narrow aisles range anywhere from 8 ½ to 10 ½ feet, very narrow aisles may be only as wide as 5 to 7 feet. This is why NAs and VNAs can be a challenge when putting product away or stacking orders. Normally, counterbalance forklifts do not fit in these types of spaces, and even if they did, they would not have a tight enough turn radius to avoid hitting the racking. Below are some of the options you can look at to help you solve you narrow aisle problems.

3 Wheel Electric Forklift

The 3 Wheel Electric Forklift is great for narrow aisles. It leads the industry in run time, travel speed, and lift/lowering speeds. Having just one wheel in back allows for a tighter turn radius meaning it doesn’t need as much room as a four-wheel forklift to turn. The 3 Wheel Electric is also available in a “short” model, making it an even better fit for those compact areas. But just because it is smaller doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. This forklift can lift up to 4,000 lbs.!

6 Series Order Picker

Toyota’s Order Picker is manufactured for specific applications. Order pickers are used to help employees reach goods stored on high racking, but does not necessarily stack products. There is a platform where an operator stands to pick things off of the shelves and place them on the pallet in front of them (that also raises and lowers with the operator). Order pickers allow for very narrow aisles, because they do not need to turn for an operator to put things away. They just reach from side to side, making things accessible for your operator.

Electric Reach Truck

The last piece of equipment we are going to touch on is the Electric Reach Truck. This forklift allows you to put pallets behind each other, by “reaching” out. It comes in a single- or double-reach model, helping you utilize your space more efficiently. The other benefit to using this machine is its ability to lift up to almost 30 feet! And its lift capacity of 4,500 lbs., is ready to take on heavy loads.

These are just a few of the options that Toyota Forklifts offers for those tricky narrow aisles. Take a look at the infographic below to get an idea of the complete range of narrow-aisle equipment available to you. Remember, if you need help deciding on what product is right for you, contact Dillon Toyota Lift, and we will gladly assist you.

Written by:  Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Sep 17

The Tora-Max Electric Pallet Jack Max Savings Event has been EXTENDED!   Now through December 14, 2018 you can purchase a new Tora-Max TWB40 for $2,699 or as low as $63/month.  With a 4,000 lb. load capacity, you can let your new jack do the heavy lifting.  

• Valid July 16 - December 14, 2018
• Tora-Max Walkie Pallet Jack (Model TWB40)
• Includes 24V Battery and 48" Forks
• Shipping Included in Price

Sep 04

Between scratches, dents, and replaced parts, a forklifts can undergo a lot of changes and repairs throughout its lifetime. It’s also common for customers to want to add additional features to a forklift after it arrives. How do you know for sure if the modification is acceptable or how it will ultimately affect your forklift’s safe operation? Here are a few helpful tips based on common misconceptions to help guide you down the right path.

ANSI B56.1 Regulations

One common misconception is that you don’t need permission to make changes to a forklift. While it’s true that not all modifications require approval, per ANSI B56.1 Section 4.2.1, there are some that do:

“Except as provided in para. 4.2.2, no modifications or alterations to a powered industrial truck that may affect the capacity, stability, or safe operation of the truck shall be made without the prior written approval of the original truck manufacturer or its successor thereof. When the truck manufacturer or its successor approves a modification or alteration, appropriate changes shall be made to capacity plates, labels, tags, and operation and maintenance manuals.”

To put this paragraph in simpler terms, it is stating that if the modification could affect the truck’s lifting capacity, stability, or safe operation, then you should seek prior written approval from the truck manufacturer to make the change. If you’re ever unsure if a modification will require approval, make sure to work with your local, authorized Toyota dealer to confirm. They can also assist with ordering and installing new data plates as necessary.

Some of the common modifications that require approval per this regulation include:

  1. Drilling or cutting into the overhead guard or hood
  2. Changing attachments, forks, masts, or tire types
  3. Swapping counterweights
  4. Modifications that affect visibility

UL Rating

Many forklifts conform to or are certified for a certain Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) rating. There are also options available that modify a forklift to meet other UL rating standards so that they can be safely operated in certain types of environments. The UL rating certification verifies that the forklift and its configuration have been approved by UL to comply with these standards.

What many people don’t know is that any change to a forklift’s electrical, exhaust, or fuel system (among others) can void the UL rating of the truck. Changes as simple as swapping a wiring harness or installing a new strobe light can actually cause the forklift to no longer meet UL’s set standards. Fortunately, many items can be installed in the field by a Toyota technician without affecting UL classification.

If you need to replace an existing part, replacing it with the same manufacturer’s part as instructed by the manufacturer will typically not void the UL rating. For parts being added that aren’t replacing existing ones, it is important that the parts be approved by UL as a field installable option.  Manufacturers of approved field installable options for forklifts can be found on UL’s website. These pre-approved parts are specific when it comes to the brand/model of the part and the forklift, so it’s important to pay attention to this prior to making any changes. Just because a part is “UL approved” or “UL listed” does not mean that installing it will not void the UL rating of your forklift.

Finally, if a part is being installed or a modification is being made that isn’t pre-approved, UL can send out a field representative to observe the modification being performed. They may also need to test the truck afterwards to determine if it meets their requirements and, if it passes, they can grant their approval for it to maintain the UL rating. For general UL related questions or to schedule a UL visit, you can contact them on their support line at 877-UL HELPS.

When in doubt, it’s best to verify with a professional who is knowledgeable on the subject prior to making any changes to your forklifts. Regardless of the change you are wanting to make, be sure to contact Dillon Toyota Lift for professional advice and support throughout the entire process.

- Trinton Castetter, Product Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Aug 21

Thinking of purchasing a Toyota forklift? In 2018, congress expanded the Section 179 tax deduction limit to $1 million on qualifying material handling equipment – including forklifts. So now may be the time to buy!

How Does Section 179 Work?

In previous years, businesses typically wrote off their equipment a little at a time through depreciation.  The Section 179 Deduction allows your business to write off the entire purchase price of qualifying equipment for the current tax year, up to $1 million.  Use this calculator to help estimate your tax savings and see how the Section 179 Tax Deduction can make a difference to your bottom line at the end of the year.  Consult your tax advisor to determine if you qualify and if this deduction is right for you.


How Much Money Can I Save?

The amount of money you save depends on the amount of qualifying equipment purchased and put into use in the qualifying year.

Is There a Deadline?

Yes! Qualifying equipment must be purchased or financed AND put into service before midnight on December 31, 2018.

Does all Toyota Forklift Equipment Qualify?

The IRS allows for Section 179 depreciation on qualifying equipment, including forklifts, used in a business or income-producing activity. Consult your tax advisor for more information.

Contact Us for questions and to take advantage of the year-end tax savings.  

Aug 20

Forklifts are used every day all over the world to move material and keep supply chains up and running. Nearly everything you see has come into contact with a forklift at some point along the way.  Any individual who operates a forklift is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to undergo forklift operator safety training and to be certified on every different type of forklift an operator drives. When you take an operator safety training course with Dillon Toyota Lift, here are some of the things you’ll learn:

1.Who can operate a forklift?  Only trained, qualified operators should ever operate a forklift.

2. The difference between forklifts and automobiles.  Forklifts are different from automobiles. While at first glance it may not seem to be the case, a forklift weighs much more than a car or truck. The steer wheels are in the back meaning they steer differently.

3. How to enter and exit a forklift.  A three point stance should be used when both entering and exiting a forklift. Two hands and one foot should be in contact with the forklift at all times.

4. How to read a forklift data plate.  All forklifts should have a legible, accurate data plate. For each special attachment, a data plate reflecting changes in load capacity should also be secured to the forklift.

5. The operation of a loaded versus an unloaded forklift.  A loaded forklift is more stable than an unloaded forklift because of the change of location of the combined center of gravity.

6. The role of pedestrians in safe forklift operation.  Pedestrians play a role in forklift safety, just as operators do. Pedestrians should understand and be aware of the operating characteristics of forklifts as well as the environment they share with the forklifts.  It should never be assumed that the pedestrian is seen by the operator.

7. The necessity of pre-operation forklift inspections.  It is required that all operators perform pre-operation inspections to identify that all forklift systems work properly before being placed into service. Engines, transmissions, brakes, mast and hydraulics, electrical systems, accessories, etc. should all be in working order. If not, the forklift should be tagged out/removed from service, and appropriate repairs should be made prior to operating the forklift.

8. How to operate a forklift on ramps.  Some forklifts should not be operated on ramps. Always refer to the appropriate forklift operator manual for instructions on correct ramp operation.

9. How forklift safety is reinforced.  Each employer must reinforce safety rules and practices as well as correct unsafe operator behavior.

There is much more to forklift operator safety training than just taking a test.  While a test is involved in operator safety training, trainees will also watch formal training videos and participate in hands-on forklift demonstrations and supervised equipment operation.  Contact Dillon Toyota Lift to schedule your training class. 

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